Buy Launch GTS 10 for light stability and low weight if your build and form are somewhat easy on shoes. This shoe shines in speedwork yet without the stiffness or price of a plate or rods, with balanced cushion for comfortable medium-length runs.
Do not choose this shoe if you have high motion control needs or prefer plush cushion to a responsive ride. This is not the shoe for runners who want a wide, solid feel below the heel or for heavy over-pronators.
In 2021 Brooks consolidated their neutral and stability line-ups, changing not only the names but also the fit of their stability shoes while retaining their stability feature of GuideRails.
Formerly called “Ravenna,” the light-stability model became “Launch GTS,” taking the name “Launch” from Brooks’ neutral shoe and adding “GTS,” now meaning “Go To Support” rather than the past acronym of “Go To Shoe.”
The Launch is a basic speed shoe for neutral runners, with those needing more stability directed to try Launch GTS. GuideRails on Launch GTS act as training wheels on a bike to gently guide the foot from excess pronation back into helpful alignment with the knee to avoid injury.
The upper has been enhanced in the 10, and it remains true to size in fit, with a medium-narrow fit throughout.
The 9 added 2 mm. more BioMoGo midsole from the Launch GTS 8 (the first Launch GTS, following Ravenna 11) for increased responsive cushion, but cut those 2 mm. off again for the 10.
While I am all for a good midsole cushion I do not notice the change underfoot when running in the 9 and 10 side-by-side and back-to-back.
Launch GTS 10 remains steady at the attractive list price of $110 USD.Launch GTS 10 has similar weight as the 9 at 8.4oz / 238g M sz 9 and
7.3oz / 207g W sz 8.
Wide fit available in the gray models.
Weighing 8 oz. in my women’s size 9.5, Launch GTS matches the weight of the ASICS Gel DS Trainer 26 and Magic Speed as well as the adidas Adizero Pro, all fast-feeling shoes I’ve appreciated in the past few years.
The light and fast Launch GTS meets its cushioned sibling in Glycerin GTS, Brooks’ plush stability model, with Adrenaline GTS falling halfway in between as the best of both worlds: fast and supportive yet with softer LOFT cushion than Launch.
Levitate GTS is a similarly fast shoe with an even more springy DNA AMP midsole than Launch, which makes is best for the experience versus speed per say—categorized as “energize” versus “speed” by Brooks. The Beast/Arial (men’s/women’s) is the brand’s max support shoe.
Runners who prefer more of a base for longer runs but a similar underfoot experience will want to look to Blissfeel (woman-only shoe) or the ASICS GT-2000, in addition to Brooks’ more substantial support shoes Glycerin GTS and Beast/Ariel.
PUMA’s Foreverrun Nitro is a new shoe I tried this year that is also a great option for a smooth ride but a bit more underfoot.
Other similar include ASICS Gel-DS Trainer, New Balance FuelCell Prism, Saucony Axon, and Nike Winflo.
The Launch GTS 10’s remodeled upper looks sleek and attractive. Opening the box I was intrigued by the light feel but wondered if the shoe would have the same support as the last model given a simpler upper design.
For the second year in a row I was comfortable not sizing up for forefoot width. Launch GTS fits slightly longer with a slightly more accommodating forefoot than pre-2022 Brooks shoes with similarly med-narrow heel into midfoot.
Brooks’ 2022 and 2023 shoes fit my narrow heel into medium forefoot very well. Before this I had fit issues with Brooks, from a too-high toe box in Ravenna 8 to a too-narrow forefoot in many Ravenna, Adrenaline, and Transcend models since, causing me to size up and then deal with too long a shoe and a roomie heel.
This latest design is the best yet!
Brooks revamped the upper this year, keeping (most of) the good from the previous upper and changing it in the right places. Since the shoe is the same weight yet lost 2 mm. of midsole, I found that they put that weight into a more robust heel counter in the 10 and an extended internal toe cap in the forefoot.
This was the right decision. Anyone looking for a stable shoe is going to benefit from a better heel counter.
The extended toe cap brings some stability to the forefoot that it would otherwise lack because the new design does not have the 9’s visible reinforcement patches on both sides at the ball of the foot.
The thin material allowed some space in the shoe midfoot, however. The simple design lacks support strips that add security (as well as weight) to a shoe.
The new engineered “warp knit” upper alternates between reinforced stitches and thin patches throughout most of the midfoot into forefoot for a breathable material that still holds the foot securely. This mesh is just shy of 60% recycled materials, saving 5 plastic bottles from the landfill (per pair, I assume).
The tongue is improved with no more hot spots! It looks very similar, but now instead of two light pads running parallel down the thin tongue with no padding in between, the 10 has wider rectangle patch of the same padding right over the bridge of the foot. The synthetic material making up the full tongue of the 9 transitions to knit before the bottom lace holes, but this has no effect on comfort.
An additional change comes in thinner support around laces holes (with no noticeable effect). That weight now goes into flexible, thin material connecting both sides of the tongue to the base of the upper for a semi-gusseted tongue. This increases midfoot support.
The biggest disappointment in the new upper comes in the loss of a second hole parallel to the second-to-top lace opening. In the 9 I used both holes for a heel-lock tie. I was able to get a similarly locked-in fit by tying the 10 normally, but I prefer the slightly lower lacing hold that I can get from the 9.
The new upper also loses some reflectivity, now with only one small piece on the lateral heel.
Colorways are attractive with one bright option for both men (green/red orange/white) and women (blue/pink) and one gray option, the women’s with subtle violet accents.
The Launch GTS 10 sole is unchanged besides being 2 mm. shorter—back to what it was in the 8. The midsole is made of Brooks’ eco friendly BioMoGo DNA foam, a firm and springy foam that also breaks down 50x faster than EVA to contribute less waste (don’t worry, we’re talking after years in a landfill, not during the life of the shoe).
Adding to the environmental benefit is the Green Rubber silica used in the outsole rather than the typical petroleum base of ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA).
The grip offered and midsole wear are good but average; the shoe wears as expected.
GuideRails bordering both sides of the shoe work with each runner’s unique stride to guide the foot into better alignment with knees to minimize torque on knees and hips: to enhance performance and decrease injury.
Guiderails were introduced to Brooks stability in the 2013 Transcend and were notably improved in 2019 and following.
One GuideRail is on the lateral heel, and the other runs along the medial side from mid-heel through the arch. The Rails are basically midsole foam that extends up to border the sides of the upper, there to counter excess motion if you need it but easy to ignore if you do not.
The shoe’s drop is 10 mm. with a stack height reduced by 2 mm. from the 9 to a 34 mm. heel down to 24 mm. forefoot.
This sole really shines in speedwork, and performs well over distance. I had no complaints with how this shoe performed during speed intervals or steady-pace distance.
This was the only running shoe I took with me on a trip. After a heavy week of back-to-back runs in the heat, the shoe held up, but I got the sense that it was being taxed holding its form under my moderately overpronated gait. Having a more robust shoe for slower-paced runs would have been best.
It felt like the shoe twisted a bit more a few days in but regained its form after a break. Who knows? Maybe that was just me!
Overall the ride feels smooth and gently supported with good arch support.
The highlights of the Launch GTS 10 is its smooth transition midfoot into toe-off, more protective tongue, and stronger heel counter. It’s down point is no longer sporting the extra lace hole second to top.
This shoe is not a go-to for heavy mileage runners but rather shines for a speed-focused medium-distance runner seeking some gait-guidance and push-back against wear for a moderate price.
All in all, this shoe gives you great bang for your buck when it comes to its reasonable price, quality materials, ride, and function over various types of runs. The brand did well keeping the same sole unit and making (mostly) helpful changes to the upper.
I hope you enjoy this shoe as much as I do!